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US Supreme Court to Consider Affirmative Action Case

Yesterday, the US Supreme Court indicated that it would hear a case, Fisher v. University of Texas, involving affirmative action at the University of Texas at Austin. The case, brought by Abagail Fisher, a Caucasian student claiming to have been denied admissions on account of her race, could “eliminate diversity as a rationale sufficient to justify any use of race in admission decisions,” according to the New York Times.

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit previously ruled in favor of the University of Texas, indicating that the university had not violated the civil or constitutional rights of the plaintiffs. In 2003, the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 in Grutter v. Bollinger to prohibit public colleges and universities from using a points system in admissions decisions to increase minority admissions but that the schools could account for race in other ways to promote diversity.

Justice Elena Kagan, having worked on the case during her term as solicitor general, has disqualified herself from hearing the case.

Associated Press 2/22/12; New York Times 2/21/12

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